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Ford 8.8 rearend

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Clean it up(get all the surface rust off of it and repaint it), then while its out re-gear it if that is what you are planning on doing. Then finally you can weld on new perches and mounts and install it and probably never have to worry about breaking a rear shaft ever again.

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Just got the axle in the garage looks to be from something other than explorer does anyone know if its still good to put in or should i just send it to the scrap yard and i really don't know now if its a posi rear it has id tag but don't know what it means

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definitely not from explorer. explorers have spring under like MJs that rear end had coils. still lop off all the coil spring crap and controll arm stuff and weld on new perchs and throw it in the mj.... if you have 3.07s in the front the .01 really won't make a difference unless heavy 4x4 on tar

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Found out the axle is from a '02 crown vic non lmt slip and 28 spline. Since its from a crown vic the width is nearly 78 inches wms to wms!!! At least my friend has agreed to give me my money back. I have def learned my lesson just b/c its a 8.8 doesnt mean its a good deal!!! :mad: :dunno: :no: :nuts:

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Since its from a crown vic the width is nearly 78 inches wms to wms!!!

Durn, too bad it wasn't narrower than an MJ, as I'll need a narrower rear axle for Baby in the future. If it would've been narrower, I would have offered to buy it from you for a bit more than you paid.

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The discs brakes will work on a d44. keep the axle just for the disc brake parts. It is a steal.


Did you get the calipers too? I agree its a great foundation on a disc brake upgrade!! Even if you don't do it right away, remove all the pieces and label everything for later use!! EVEN IF THAT DOESN'T happen.. you could sell it here for more and pocket the difference, and at 100 or less would still be a "deal" for some guy here!!



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  • 2 weeks later...

I think i just answered my own question...


Here is a guide for the purchase and build-up of the Ford 8.8 rear axle and its compatibility and performance in a Wrangler or Cherokee.


There are many different variations of the Ford 8.8 axle. One of them is best suited for the use in a Jeep and that would be the Explorer (or Mountaineer) 31 spline 8.8. If you have found one off a Aerostar, Mustang, F-150 etc, you should really pass it up and look for a Explorer axle if you wish to retain a similar track width on your Wrangler. Trying to start your build-up with the wrong axle will be frustrating and expensive although you may have picked it up for cheap in the beginning.


Ford 8.8 assembly specs:

Cover bolt 28-38 ft.lbs.

Pinion bearing preload 16-29 in.lbs.

Pinion bearing preload 8-14 in.lbs (used)

Ring gear backlash .008-.015

Ring gear bolt to case 70-85 ft.lbs

Side bearing caps 70-85 ft.lbs.



Explorer 8.8 Measurements:

Weight (complete assembly w/ brakes etc.): 174 lb.

O.D. of tubes: 3.250".

Tube thickness: .250" (some are .188”!)

Ring gear diameter: 8.800".

Ring gear bolts: 7/16" dia. (qty. 10).

Pinion diameter/splines: 1.625 / 30.

Axle shaft/splines: 1.320 / 31.

Rotor thickness (where it mounts to axle is .250").

Overall width 59.625" (the F8.8 is .950" narrower then a TJ Dana 35).

(The F-150 8.8 is drum brake and width WMS to WMS is 65.5”.)

Hole diameter for ABS sensor in top of housing: .811".

Bolt size (U-joint flange to yoke) is: 12 x 1.75 x 30 mm

Centerline of housing to C/L of pinion difference is 3.875" toward the P/S.

Pinion offset: P/S to C/L of Pinion, 27-3/4" (no rotor on axle), D/S to C/L of Pinion, 31-5/8" (no rotor on axle). (this measurement is 2.5" more offset to the P/S then a TJ Dana 35).



Code Capacity Ratio

43 Open 3200 3.08

41 Open 3200 3.27

42 Open 4.10

46 Open 3.73

45 Open 3200 3.55

D4 Limited Slip 3200 3.73

D2 Limited Slip 4.10

L73 Limited Slip 3.73

L - Limited Slip Differential

C - Conventional Differential


Thanks Chris Overacker for the specs and measurements! see his website link below.


How many splines are the axle shafts?

drivers side is 31 spline for 97 & up Mountaineer, 95 & up Explorer, 30-1/2 inch length - 5 X 4.5 inch lug pattern.


passenger side is 31 spline for 97 & up Mountaineer, 95 & up Explorer, 27-5/8 inch length - 5 X 4.5 inch lug pattern


Can I get 35 spline shafts? Yes, with a little searching I found 28 and 33 splines too. Remeber 8.8 axles are used on many different Ford rigs. Mustangs, Rangers, F150s, Aerostar etc... different axle lengths than the Explorer so if you are looking for aftermarket products make sure you are not looking at something for a Mustang that might not fit an Explorer. For the 35 spline stuff check with Mark Williams site. i don't have a link yet but i will soon.


Do I need a slip yoke eliminator? In my opinion, yes


Can I use my drive shaft that I bought for my SYE/Dana 35 set-up? Yes


Is the 8.8 narrower than a Dana 35? Yes but not enough to make a difference when running most aftermarket wheels.1.5" shorter or so. It doesn't matter unless you try running stock rims w/12.5 or wider tires.


Are the 8.8 shafts stronger than Dana 44 shafts? Yes, also the bearings, pinion and ring gear are also much larger.

Axle shaft Strength and output torque rating by Warn and 4 Wheeler


The axle shaft strength tested by Warn Ind:

F8.8= 6,500 (lb. ft.)

D44= 4,600-5,000 (lb. ft.)

D35C= 4,000-4,300 (lb. ft.)


COT: Continuous output torque rating

MOT: Maximum output torque rating


(Numbers from January edition of Fourwheeler, page 60.)

Dana 35 rear axle COT: 870 MOT: 3480

Dana 44 rear axle COT: 1100 MOT: 4460

Ford 8.8 28spline COT: 1250 MOT: 4600

Ford 8.8 31spline COT: 1360 MOT: 5100

Dana60 semifloat COT: 1500 MOT: 5500]

(thanks joe and Chile99.)


Will I need that brake proportioning valve from a Rubicon? Maybe


Does the 8.8 offer more ground clearance over the Dana 35 and 44? Not under the differential but the bigger axle tubes lift the rig about 5/8 ".


Is there welding involved? Yes, but the new brackets you put on are much stronger than stock Dana’s. Not a good idea to re use your old Dana 35 brackets


Where do I get brackets?

4x4 Group Buy has Rubicon Express for $225+shipping.

Bob Supplee has Tera for $220 shipped.

DC4WD has Tera for $217 shipped.


Jeepers and Creepers

TeraFlex TMI-ABK-TR $250.99

M.O.R.E. Dana 35 brackets (sku:MORE98700) $290.00

Rubicon Express RE9969 TJ Axle Bracket Kit Rear $274.95

Mad4wd.com (sku:Mad-BKTK-TJ1) $275.00


Link to axle bracket placement on Stu Olson's site

The list above should get you headed in the right direction as far as brackets go. Look around and compare prices as the brackets can be found for $200.00 or less shipped sometimes. Keep this in mind when shopping for any item for your build-up,if you do, you will save a bundle.


Can I reuse my Dana 35 brackets? Yes, but it is not recommended. The stock Dana 35 brackets are sort of flimsy compared to the beefy aftermarket versions. Some of the brackets available are in fact for Dana 35 axles to replace the weak ones that come factory. Reusing the D-35 brackets is time consuming even if you have the right tools, not a good idea IMO


Should I weld the axle tubes to the cast housing? I would if it had been salvaged from a wrecked rig. If it is new on a crate don’t bother.



Will my stock sway bar work? Yes, with a minor modification to a passenger side pinion gusset.


Do all 8.8s come with a limited slip? No, read the tag on the housing or remove the cover. 3L73 = 3.73 gears witha "L"imited slip


Where is the gear break for lockers? There is no break. Same locker for 3.73 to 6.14


Do I need a notched cross pin? Yes for 4.56-6.14 to clear ring gear, or notch a gear tooth.


What year ford explorers do I look for as a donor for 31 spline and disc brakes? 1995 to 2001.


What is so great about 8.8? Parts are everywhere, as in axle shafts, covers, brake parts etc..


What's not so great about the 8.8? Weak stock carrier, replace with a carrier type locker like ARB or Detroit (not a lunch box type) this will cure the problem.


Spun axle tubes: Simply weld the tubes into the diff housing before they spin. You are welding to cast steel so now would be the time to ask for a professional's opinion. I have heard of guys tossing the works in a oven before welding, some just go at it cold. Both say their way is right.


Thin stock diff cover: Get some armor.


(my axle was new surplus and had not been in a collision, i know exactly where it has been from mile one and it is not welded. I don't believe my wheeling style will cause me problems, however i do keep a close eye on the plug welds.)


What kind of locker can I get?













(prices will vary)


What is the bolt pattern? 5 on 4.5” just like stock TJ/YJ wheels.


Will my Jeep lug nuts fit the 8.8? In most cases, yes.


What do I do with the speed sensor? leave it in place.


Where to buy?



wallysheata, Ariel Performance



to name a few.


How much do they cost? Free to $1500.00 but you can find them new for around $500.00 in their stock form complete disc to disc.


What do I need for a swap into a tj?

Here are some things I usedOriginal Poster into a TJ)



-TeraFlex Bracket kit $200.00

-ARB $630.00

-U.S. Gears 4.56 $185.96

-Master install kit (Timken) $89.00

-Crane diff cover $190.00

-Napa brake line kit P/N 380528 $17.49 (x2)

-T-hose NAPA P/N 380889 $29.99

-ZJ E-brake cables (drivers and passenger side)

Mopar P/N 52008904 & 52008905 $23.00 NAPA P/N 95533 (right) 95322 (left). (not for YJs)

-Driveshaft adapter: Spicer 2-2-1379 $32.86

-Flange bolts Ford P/N N800594-S100 $1.29 (x4)

-'03 TJ Rubicon (w/disc) proportioning valve P/N 5083808AA $74.00

-3/16" hard brake line about 40" & 18" $5.00


HELPFUL SITES be sure to check these out:


Dome & Detour

8.8 Swap

J.E. Towle / DPG Offroad

Chris Overacker / CODE 4x4


4x4 Wire Links

The Ranger Station Tech Library

The Ranger Station Tech Library 2




From M.O.R.E.

-XJ Installation Kit P/N 98600 84-2001 XJ $165.00

-XJ E-Brake Cable Kit P/N EB3 Disc Brake F8.8 Only $118.00

-Special Yoke P/N 221379 F8.8 to 1310 U-Joint $40.00


From Dealership:

-Mopar spring perches $12.00

-Tabs for shock mounts $5.00

-ZJ ebrake cables from the dealer (for XJ install) $65.00

-Flange from spicer dealer $30 (have seen this go from $20-$50)







Code Capacity Ratio

43 Open 3200 3.08

41 Open 3200 3.27

42 Open 4.10

46 Open 3.73

45 Open 3200 3.55

D4 Limited Slip 3200 3.73

D2 Limited Slip 4.10

L73 Limited Slip 3.73

L - Limited Slip Differential

C - Conventional Differential

Code Ratio

41 3.27

43 3.08

42 3.45

44 3.73

45 3.55

47 4.10

72 3.08C

74 3.45C

82 3.08C

84 3.45C

85 3.55C

86 3.73C

87 4.10C

89 (1992-1998) 4.10C

89 (1999-2001) 4.56C

91 3.27C

92 3.08C

95 3.55C

96 3.73C

97 4.10C

F4 3.45L

F5 3.55L

F6 3.73L

F7 4.10L

K6 4.10L

D2 3.45

D4 3.73L

D7 4.10

R5 3.55L

R6 3.73L

R7 4.10L


Some of the ones on the second list do not apply to the Explorer 8.8 (like the 4.56 one) as this list covers rangers too.

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